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Ode to a Friend

Me and my friend, Bill, somewhere in Mexico aboard his catamaran.

It's coming up on a year since we lost my dear friend Bill. The photo above was one of the last times I saw him and I smile when I see this photo because I remember that moment so clearly. (Thanks Ray)

We were on a sailing rally from Los Angeles to San Diego to Cabo San Lucas to La Paz. What an adventure the five members of The Cat crew had together! Three captains and two total sailing newbies! I was the cook and the provisionist and I learned so much about sailing.

It was on this trip that I really started writing again. I wrote several short stories which were just reflections on my new life of retirement and the freedom I felt. I shared them with Bill and other members of the crew asking for feedback. The stories were unedited and raw with my view of the day.

Bill always wanted me to write a book and so he was especially excited about the impromptu essays. He encouraged me to be brave and share my love of writing with the world. Every once in a while I'd show him something I'd written and he'd encourage me to take it to the next level.

As I approached the launch of The Swipe Right Effect: The Power to Get Unstuck, I wanted so badly to tell him, to show him and hear him say one more time, "You are doing great, Kel."

"You are so strong, Kel."

"You have no idea how awesome you are, do you?"

"You have what it takes! Just believe in yourself."

"Listen, beautiful. I'm here for you no matter what. But you've got this."

"I know this is hard but you deserve to be happy. So choose to be happy."

Although you are not physically here with me Bill, it's important to note that I still hear you. I still feel you. And I still love you.

I'm sure all of Bill's friends and family are feeling the anniversary coming on. I know how I'm going to celebrate Bill on this day. We are going to have a private moment, Bill and I, standing by the ocean.

When we last said goodbye and and I got that last long hug, we were on an ocean in Mexico. I was hoping to return and sail with him and the crew again. It's such a bittersweet memory now.

I'm so grateful I had that month of sailing with Bill and the crew. It turned out it was a once in a lifetime event when we all thought we'd back the next year. We just had to do it all over again!

Bill's calm, earthly, supportive spirit makes it easy to believe that he does rest in peace. We all miss you my friend. I'm so grateful for all the years I had you in my life and it is with that mindset that I hold you in my heart.

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